Burgersfort and its surrounds have a rich history. The town was established around a hexagonal fort that was built in 1876 and 1877, during the Second Bapedi War. This was a war between the Bapedi people of Chief Sekhukhune (the largest North-Sotho language group), the British and the Boers (farmers who had their origin mainly in Holland).
The town was named after the South African President, TF Burgers. Today, one of the popular tourist attractions of the town is the Battlefield of Sekhukhune’s Kraal, which marks the spot at which the British attacked the chief’s Pedi people. It continues to hold a haunting resonance for those who visit.
In addition to its natural prettiness and its history, Burgersfort is also significant for being an important contributor in terms of platinum mining.
Towns and villages close to Burgersfort include Lydenburg (60 kilometres), Steelpoort (16 kilometres) and Madiseng (11 kilometres). Lydenburg is frequented by avid fly-fishermen, and continues to be an important spot for agriculture and mining.
Credit: SA Venues
Click to listen:
- We discuss components of the recent Bedrogfontein Tour as well as the Swartberg Tour.
- We chat about some unusual and interesting passes as well as relate the back story behind Moordenaarskloof in the Eastern Cape.
PASS OF THE WEEK:
With our Swartberg Classic Tour coming up, what better than to open up one of the passes of the tour. We take a closer look at the history of the Bosluiskloof Pass.
This is one of the most spectacular gravel passes in the Western Cape offering stunning scenery of craggy mountains, vertical rock walled poorts, old-school engineering, game spotting, birdlife and a fabulous 4 star lodge to ease weary travellers into the bushveld way of life. The pass has 60 bends, corners and curves compressed into its 7,6 km length with an average gradient of 1:13 which is remarkable considering that the lower part of the pass where it becomes a poort is fairly flat. Yet there is no point on the pass which is excessively steep. There are some sections that reach 1:6 so this road with it' steep unguarded drop-offs requires focused attention from drivers.
This historic pass dates back to 1862 and was completed by Thomas Bain's brother in law - Adam de Smidt. The road is named after the many fossilised ticks found in the rocks when the road was built. This used to be the main road between Laingsburg and Prince Albert up till the late 1960's when the Dept. of Water Affairs built the Gamkakloof Dam, which had a number of consequences, including making this road obsolete.
Firstly it made the road a dead end as there was no way around the new dam and secondly it spelt the end of the farming community in the Gamkaskloof, as the new road bulldozed eastwards through the Gamkaskloof gave this community access to Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp. They left the kloof in a steady trickle until there was no-one left. That is one of the negative sides of progress.
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This week's paraprosdokian: "Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak"